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Considering a Late Summer Vacation? Custody Tips to Consider Before you Leave

As August unfolds there is a hint of autumn air settling in and a sense of all that comes along with it – back to school planning, more structured schedules, and the loss of casual summer dress codes at work. Although retailers work hard at making us believe that summer is rapidly ending, the reality is that there is still a lot of time remaining for summer vacation travel.

If you have a trip in mind and have a shared custody arrangement, it’s important to understand that there are many considerations that need to be taken into account when planning a vacation. Following are a few suggestions to consider when planning travel with your child:

  1. Communication

Get ahead of the conversation as soon as you know your plans. Make sure that your child’s co-parent understands clearly the dates of your trip and how this will affect their visitation. If necessary, share these details in written form, via email or otherwise.

Understand that your child may have commitments and be prepared to make accommodations so that your child can enjoy time with you while continuing to meet obligations such as fulfilling a work schedule, making progress on summer reading or maintaining a workout schedule or diet.

  1. International Travel

It is important to understand the extent of child custody laws as they relate to international travel. I cover some of the laws regarding child passports in a blog article posted late last year which can be read by following this link. Other than having a valid passport, it is critical that the co-parent be aware that you plan to travel internationally with your child. Obtaining approval is important, and should be done via written form so that you can carry this document with you in case of unexpected emergencies.

  1. Vaccinations

We never plan for emergencies, but if well prepared for unexpected mishaps, these situations won’t derail an otherwise relaxing vacation or adventure. If you are not your child’s primary caregiver and don’t otherwise have records from your child’s annual physical, make sure that you’ve requested an up to date medical record from your child’s doctor.

Most of us can’t remember the last time we’ve had a tetanus shot and this information certainly will save putting your child though more trauma if they’ve been injured in a strange place. We’ve all heard of stories about broken bones, cuts and mishaps on vacation, it happens, but with some advance planning, you can minimize the interruptions to your vacation.

Whenever possible, try to get ahead of travel plans to help minimize aggravation and stress when negotiating with your child’s co-parent. To discuss your individual child custody situation, contact an attorney knowledgeable in Rhode Island Child Custody laws.